Responsible Agency

1. Which agency/government body/authority is responsible for land registration?

Land Registration in Ireland is dealt with by the Property Registration Authority established by the Registration of Deeds and Title Act, 2006. See link http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/2006/en/act/pub/0012/.

The Authority was established to manage and control the Land Registry and Registry of Deeds, to provide and maintain a system registration of deeds and titles in line with legislation and as part of its primary remit, to promote and extend registration of title in Ireland.

It is comprised of no more than 11 members with representatives that include nominees of the Bar Council of Ireland, the Law Society, an officer of the Minister of Justice and Equality and a staff representative. Prior to its establishment the Land Registry and Registry of Deeds was managed by the Registrar of Deeds and Titles who reported directly to the Department of Justice. For information on current members see http://www.landirect.ie.

The Government has announced its intention to merge the the Property Registration Authority with the Ordinance Survey of Ireland (OSi) and the Valuations Office Ireland. Work on the merger is ongoing and a Project Board has been established to oversee the merger.

2. If the responsibility for property registration is dealt with by an agency/authority, to which government department is it responsible to?

The Property Registration authority is under the umbrella of the Department of Justice and Equality and has been since registration of title in Ireland commenced.

3. How is the organization managed?

The organization is headed by a Chief Executive Officer who is a civil servant of the Government and reports directly to the Authority.

The appointment is on such terms and conditions as the Minister may, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, determine. He/She is supported by a senior management team currently comprising seven persons with various skills and expertise including legal, human resources, information technology, mapping, corporate services and financial expertise.

4. Describe the organisational framework:

The Land Registry is spread over three locations in Dublin, Roscommon and Waterford with its head office located in the capital at the Four Courts in Chancery Street, Dublin.

There is one database and equal competence in each location. An application can be made on line or at any of the offices no matter where the property is situated. The Registry of Deeds which records the existence of deeds regarding unregistered property is situated in Henrietta Street, Dublin[1] .

Most of the supporting services are dealt with in head office such as information technology, corporate services and human resource management with local support in regional offices. Some services are dealt with under Government Shared Services Policy such as payroll and the recent roll out of shared human resource services dealt with for all Government Departments by one agency, PeoplePoint.

[1] The Registry of Deeds was established in 1707 to provide a system of voluntary registration for deeds and conveyances affecting land and to give priority to registered deeds over unregistered registerable deeds. The effect of registration is generally to govern priorities between documents dealing with the same piece of land. The Registry of Deeds currently operates under the provisions of part 3 of the Registration of Deeds and Title Act 2006 and the Registration of Deeds Rules 2008 which came into effect on 1 May 2008.The primary function of the Registry of Deeds is to provide a system of recording the existence of deeds and conveyances affecting unregistered property.  It should be noted that the Registry of Deeds does not guarantee the effectiveness of a Deed nor does it interpret a Deed, but only records the existence of the Deed.

5. How is the agency/government body/authority funded?

Registration fees are fixed by the Minister with the consent of the Minister for Finance and are fixed at a level not less than that required to sufficiently discharge cost incidental to the operation of registration to title legislation.

The Chief Executive is responsible to the Authority for the performance of her/his duties and for providing it with such information in relation to the performance of those functions as the Authority may from time to time require.The Chief Executive is the Accounting Officer and in that capacity is accountable to the Government in respect of all funds voted to the Authority for the provision of services.

The Accounting Officer must prepare, on an annual basis, an account of expenditure and receipts, known as the Appropriation Account and present this account to the Comptroller and Auditor General.

6. Are the staff of the agency/government, department/authority civil servants?

All staff of the Land Registry and Registry of Deeds are civil servants.

Staff numbers are set by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and each department or agency must meet its requirements on allocated numbers. There has been a moratorium on recruitment since 2008 as a result of the financial crisis subject only to justifiable exceptions. The hiring of civil servants is dealt with by a central agency i.e. the Public Appointment Service.   Certain promotions may be dealt with internally. The appointment of staff at and above the level of Assistant Secretary is dealt with by the Top Level Appointments Committee (TLAC).

Certain projects have been contracted out such as the scanning of records for the digitisation of land registry records when moving out of a paper based system. All land registry services however are provided directly by the Land Registry and Registry of Deeds.

7. Who is responsible for cadastral/mapping information? Is it the same organisation or a separate agency/department?

There is no cadatral system in Ireland.  State responsibility for mapping lies with the Ordinance Survey of Ireland (Osi). The Land Registry maintains a general and/or index map that records the position and extent of every registered property. The Registry map is based on the Ordnance Survey Maps for the State. As stated earlier, the OSi is to merge with the Authority.

8. What are the principal functions of the registering department/agency/authority?

The principal functions of the Authority are as set out in law http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/2006/en/act/pub/0012/sec0010.html#sec10 and include:

a) to manage and control the Registry of Deeds and the Land Regis

b) to promote and extend the registration of ownership of land

c) to deal with applications under Part III of the Landlord and Tenant (Ground Rents) (No. 2) Act 1978

d) to undertake or commission, or collaborate or assist in, research projects and activities relating to the registration of ownership of land, including the compilation of statistical data needed for the proper planning, development and provision of services related to such registration

e) to perform any additional functions conferred on it under subsection (4), and

f) to keep the Minister informed of progress in relation to the registration of ownership of land and to assist him or her in the development of policy in relation to such registration

9. What are the key values/principles underpinning registration of title in your system?

The core principles underpinning registration of title are as set our in the mission statement i.e. to promote and safeguard legal, societal and economic framework of property ownership in Ireland.  This will be achieved by maintaining and extending a comprehensive and reliable system of registration of title which secures property rights and facilitates property transactions.

10. What registration system of property do you have in your country (title/deed)?

Approximately 90% of land is registered in Ireland and 88% of titles so predominantly a title system. The Authority has extended compulsory registration to all areas on sale which is seeing an increase in the number of titles being registered for the first time.

The Registry of Deeds registers the existence of any deed/document relating to land under rules governing registration for unregistered land. This is a system of priorities only and is not a register of title.